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November 11, 2020 7:00 am
The unrepentant man or woman is brought to choose either his union with sin or his union with the assembly of local churches never to allow someone that have both. We as a church basically demonstrate what is lost with that believer's relationship with God. What devastation the church does in the life of a sinning believer when we say, guess what you can keep that sin he lost to the opposite is true. Being concerned enough to want God's best for that person and for the church is the loving response. Did you know that the words discipling and discipline come from the same Greek word there similar actions.
They both involve challenging correcting and helping a person to mature today Stephen Dave. He challenges us to encourage and correct one another for the sake of the gospel, even when it requires confrontation so I received a few days ago.
Just another email from another elder in another church in another state who writes we have a prominent man in our church who has been involved in immorality and he won't step down from leadership and he's taking the church is little church through the agony in demanding people take sides side with him and that were paralyzed by moral and decision. What I do what I somewhat say that it is unloving to privately or certainly publicly expose anybody.
The opposite is actually true. It's actually unloving to put your blinders on and let somebody self-destruct specially another brother sister and the assembly abuses illustration for, but if you walk past her neighbor's house is still got the money you can save your walking the dog, and you see flames licking up his living room curtains and you know there's a big fire, there's trouble you got a choice when you get it is you the door and yeah and jump up and combine online and maybe break a window.
Whatever you gotta do to wake them out. Yes, it's good to be uncomfortable for them to stand in the street in their pajamas is going to be tough to hear the bad news that your house is on fire not to be comfortable going to be awkward to be difficult.
In fact lights going to change.
But you know that's the right thing to do. Paul wrote to the Galatians brethren, if a man is ensnared.
If a man is caught in any trespass, you are spiritual, restore them of the confronting and rebuking the correcting and ultimately restoring the reconciling Galatians chapter 6, verse one. You are spiritual do that. He'd even say you don't like the guy go after or you like to stick your nose in other people's business.
This is a job for you know you are spiritually minded do this. Others say that the exposure of unrepentant sinners causes church problems and I say briefly it does it really does and the smaller the church, the more trouble it brings. Can you think about it for a moment, can you imagine for just a moment what this letter from John is going to do in this church. Can you just try to imagine a Sunday service.
It was the practice of apostles write letters and for them to read the letters in the assembly of public gas would have shown up as I a letter from John and an amazing man that slid past me a nice chance to read it.
Can you imagine seeing Dr. B's over the corner and the smoke curling up out of the use. Imagine how awkward it would've felt. Can you imagine harsh in the assembly as he names him and calls him how and what we can. It sounds pretty public to me and necessary message but the mass will lead to greater authority and protection among the flock. In fact the church. The biblically and courageously responds will emerge spiritually stronger effect. Paul told the church in Corinth. In chapter 11 in verse 18 of his first letter. This is really interesting to me and something to tuck away in your mind. And for you to consider the amazing thing that he says is this is as I hear that there are divisions among you, and I am I part believe it anything. His next statement would be none knock it off stop it.
His next phrase is for there must be divisions among you, in order that those who are mature will be made. Evidence among you startling and in other words, instead of saying that you should never at any disagreeable issue ever again is a market maturity. He's saying actually devising issues reveal those who are mature, so whenever a divisive issue happens. Wake up, stay alert to start looking around start listening why because leaders are going to emerge and individuals are going to be revealed and how they handle that again somebody will say to me Stephen but in the Lord say should never judge anybody yes Lord said that in Matthew 71. Do not judge, lest you be jive that is the favorite verse of the compromising church today at their favorite text will write it on the sign. Do not judge, lest you be judged. The problem is, they ignore the context Jesus is actually referring not to judging but to judge mentalism is a vast difference. These leaders who are like diopter fees. Their unaccountable and their graceless and their hypocritical and their calling rights wrong and are calling wrong rights. That's what he's talking about.
They they live exposing how people are more sinful than them, but they never offer them any solution. Don't judge like that that's what the Lord is saying. In fact, Matthew 71 doesn't end with verse one. There's actually a verse two, and that verse two says, for in the way you judge. That is if you're going to judge like that you will be judged. In other words, don't judge others with self righteous censorious hypocritical judge mentalism to build your own gallows so that in mind, is it ever right for inconsistent human beings to humbly and lovingly judge somebody of the main who are we to judge right is not cross your mind to my judge. Well, let me reinforce this by just showing you a couple different passages where the Bible actually commands you to judge one.
First is when you're judging someone who lives openly in sin for screenings five reference LME read a little bit more that Texas actually reported there is immorality among you, and you become arrogant.
See, they thought they were tolerant. Paul calls the American and not mourn instead in order that the one done this deed might be removed from your minutes to listen to this for I have already charged him who has so committed this sin. Paul actually uses the word the Lord uses these as I've already judged him. This committed the sin only saying is I'm just telling you what he's doing is and I can judge that is no need to debate it.
There's no need to vote on it. There's no need to appoint a committee to discuss it and send and I judge that as sinful. It's right to judge someone lives openly in sin. Secondly, it's right to judge our culture as we compare to the Bible for strength in chapter 2 and verse 15 is an interesting text.
Paul writes this, he who is spiritually minded judges everything everything and you do that his parents you're you're judging things every single day you're not being judge mental and being hypocritical you're judging you saying to your children know that's wrong and that's right, no, don't go there.
That's not a good thing. Go over here that's a better thing judging based on how you know Scripture you're judging everything and that's what Paul says the person who says you shouldn't judge anyone, then just respond by telling what did you know the possible told me that about spiritually minded. I'm supposed to judge everything really compare that with Matthew seven is a balance with them. Contact somebody might say but wait a second I'm glad you said that Stephen because I got you there. Jesus didn't judge the sinner he hung around since EA he ate with sinners. Keep in mind there is a world of difference between how you treat sending unbelievers and how you treat sending believers.
Jesus hung around unbelieving sinners. He ate with unbelieving sinners, not because he needed something to do on the weekend and didn't want to be alone. He did that because he had come to seek and to save those who are lost.
Luke 1910 and you cannot win the faith someone he was a nonbeliever unless you get around them so they can hear from you the gospel.
So hang around them, invite them over engage your life with theirs so that they can see and hear the gospel, but Jesus was very different from those who were supposedly spiritual leaders. Just read by the way, I suggest you read the Bible sometime right with these committees to discuss issues about a committed discuss the Bible. So here's Jesus who takes religious leaders who are judging like he says in Matthew seven not to do hypocritically censorious link condescendingly and what is he doing there. He doesn't eat with them. If I think cause them a bunch of snakes revised pieces. You are caskets filled with dead man's bone, and others. Anybody think it's around you become ceremonially unclean. You're so wicked. He says you hypocrites, blind guides, on occasion, he said to them, if I can paraphrase it.
He said to the religious leaders father is in God like you think he is your father happens to be the devil. John 844 see the difference. Someone recently wrote to me and asked why do you decide what since the day with them and we all said in so many different ways can just give you a thumbnail of that just just deal with the sin that God brings that's what she should do in your own life and how sinful are our problem is we don't see how sinful we are and we sin and don't call it sin, but of God's spirit breaks your heart of sin do due diligence. With that said, and the church bodies the same. We deal with the sin that surfaces the study church history is you pay me to so I study it, love it. Thank you for that. Cotton Mather, an old Puritan. He had his list. He came up with nearly American church in included swearing fighting stealing idleness, a one list I found from church history included cheating on your taxes will go that far to for recent guidelines will try to follow when we have, we deal with since first of all to destroy Christian unity and activities was certainly guilty of this and that's why John says I'm coming. I am coming and when I come going to deal with you. Another category of the sins that entangle a person in immorality for screenings five we referenced that Paul very specifically said the deal with this. In fact he did anyone them to deal with it when he arrived he said do it now with you in spirit. I can be there physically offered report deal with it. Another category would be sins that harmed the testimony of the gospel.
This is exactly what John is doing as he puts diopter fees in the entire church on notice to call attention to his deeds there harming the gospel certainly harming the church and this will be embarrassing. This will be the service you probably want to skip this would be the time you want to stay home.
Maybe I would encourage it though.
Watch see it happen but it will be awkward. It will be painful, it will be exposing there will be shame and guilt expose from her many years ago dealing with one individual who was eventually dismissed from the fellowship and after we did that he couple days later he called me over to his house and and the wood very happy obviously and and as a speechwriter delivered to me said you you by doing that as if the church didn't do it, but I'd I did it were present in the church. Honestly, you embarrassed me, shamed me.
You brought me pain you have messed up my life. In fact, he said you've made my life miserable. I said we can fix all of that we fix all of you to be welcomed back with open arms and tears of joy and restored fellowship. You will be embraced. You will be love. When you put away your immorality and you return to the fellowship of Christ and his church, and we can remove all of that shame. In fact, we can start right now. What you said he chose to remain unrepentant list of 11 he chose.
He chose see my friends, God has designed discipline to be a crossroads experience the unrepentant man or woman is brought to choose either his union with sin or his union with the assembly of local churches never to allow someone that I have both. We can have both. We we as a church basically demonstrate what is lost without believers relationship with God were what unassuming is lost or what we believe he lost his salvation, and he's a true believer but he has lost his fellowship and the fellowship is lost with God is played out physically and that he loses fellowship with the church. What devastation the church does in the life of a sitting believer when we say, guess what you can keep that sin and keep us to be like the like. The father of the prodigal saying wanted to move those back home with you moving on in here bring that lifestyle into my house. Now he didn't do that probably left the pages in repentance coming back to his father. According to our Constitution and bylaws and there are copies, I believe, out there you're looking at them reading them, which is wonderful. Let me just reinforce this whenever someone in the future is discipline from this assembly, you need to know that members of the elder team, or perhaps deacons or leaders or members of this church that know about it again. This church is so large, most people don't.
But those who do that there will up in conversation there will be in prayer, there will have been tears there will have been an invitation to repent over and over. There's no time three months, six months, that there just as every cases different. But if all our efforts fail that unrepentant individual clearly wants nothing to do with the truth of the Council of the elders.
The elder team will dismiss them from this assembly and I will publicly announce that individual's name, to basically do what John did their job of the exposure of that individual to the body in Corinth, a publicly announce to you that this person is either left our church or no longer able to fellowship with this church because he refused to repent. We are going to go into the details of the sin. In fact, as we looked at all the passages is elder team is as we discussed this. The issue is never that somebody sin invective. Everyone who sin this past week was not allowed to come and worship this morning.
How many in here with their big nobody in this space would be empty to the issue isn't that someone sin. The issue is that someone persisted in sending even after being confronted and exhorted and encouraged and challenged and invited to repent of their sin.
They persistently and defiantly refused and at some point in time, those involved in that say they have made their choice and so will tell that that's the issue that's what we will tell you Matthew 18 commands. What we will be telling you the church is that this person has refused to follow the counsel of the elders and they are no longer in fellowship with the church got it. I want your ears to be trained to understand when I say that this is what this means I cannot repeat this every time we do that the sermon is now archived.
You can go watch it as many times as you want them.
Surely one of your favorites.
Okay say now so when I step forward and I say I'm probably going to do it or I communion time because it represents the fellowship we have in the gospel and I say their name and I will say something like this person has refused to follow the counsel of ultimately the elders and they are no longer in fellowship with the church you'll know that a lot of conversations going on behind the scenes lot of prayer that you can begin praying for that person.
Though you may not even a lot of exhortation lot of inviting to get to that point means they have refused more than likely they've already left in that language. By the way is important. When I say they are no longer in fellowship with the church. I won't save this church if I do it. It'll it'll all be misleading is the church to demand discipline from the church in Corinth didn't say well nevermind I go to Ephesus and join their Philip item join their Galatea forget you currently know to be fellowship with the church in Corinth was to be fellowship with the church in Galatia and Ephesus in Philippi. It was to be out of fellowship with the church is why this is so terribly serious where we are effectively dismissing the unrepentant individual from the fellowship of the sure, unless they repent again, don't get your opinions from what your opinion is while nothing to do like that. I think going to do this where what about that white read the scriptures read for 75. Read Matthew 18 read Galatians 1 and two. Read Titus 310. Read Matthew 18 read where Paul if you think any church is harsh to do this read where Paul told the Corinthians to effectively deliver that man over to the clutches of the devil. In other words, letting him experience the full consequences physically of his loss of fellowship coming out from underneath the protection of God is at work being handed over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh so that the spirit might be saved and others we believe is a believer let them feel the consequences of what he's choosing and that may indeed be the part that rescues them like the prodigal who finally came to his senses, not in the father's house. But where in the pig in the far country. It came to his senses play the role of parent warning the unbeliever for heading for grave danger. One final category would be to deal with doctrinal error. Paul told the church in Galatia than anybody teaching a gospel other than the gospel, given to them by the apostles is to be accursed. That is a really strong work not ignored or placated or let's put our blinders on and not worry about it no accursed dismissed because they could infect the rest of the fellowship with her. I remember many years ago. Manny was caught up in one particular doctrinal error.
He was vocal about it. He would sort of abductive social class with anybody he would have a chance to talk with the hallway.
The cooler he did bring this up. He was warned that is in our doctrinal statement that is teaching and he refused to slow down.
We want to begin.
Eventually, few of us from the other team met with him and told him that he was no longer welcome on our campus and he couldn't believe we were serious, very serious, we want to protect his flock from doctrinal error. Several months later I got an email from him and he said that he so terribly miss the fellowship of this assembly he so missed the worship so missed the company of his friends here is that I am willing to set aside that doctrinal issue and submit to the doctrine of the fellowship in the counsel of the elders if I can just come back if I do that, come back and we said we said of course absolutely and joyfully welcome public dismissal would've worn to the public reception back in this case is been handled privately as a nonmember is a nonmember and he was privately welcome back. Welcome back. That's the goal. I wish I could tell you I just have stacks of emails like I don't. It's been wonderful to see a number of people rescued whose lives have effectively been on fire. And some of you of exhorted them, challenge them in one so wonderful to see individuals who reach that point and are warned in they are turned. This is something we must promise each were commanded. Which means if were commanded to do it, we ought to promise each other and not just doing that's why we put the word welcome in their did you get that that's hard to do it.
It we welcome this. We welcome accountability elders and members of the system through biblical discipline and was promised to hold each other accountable to Christ glorified gospel advanced church protected as we wait for the soon appearing Lord save Jesus Christ. Sometimes God calls us as individuals and as the church to do hard things, but because God commands it. It's something we commit to do this is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi Stevens working through a series on the church called upon this rock.
Today's lesson is entitled how we discipline the unrepentant there's never been a point in my lifetime.
When the church needed this teaching more than it does today. If you want to share this series with others who need it. We have it available to ways you can download the audio files as well as Stevens manuscripts. It's also available as a CD set information. Both of these resources is available on our website. Wisdom online.org or call us at 86 648 Bible, and of course join us tomorrow for more wisdom